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MySQL 5.7 Reference Manual  /  ...  /  mysql_install_db — Initialize MySQL Data Directory

5.4.2 mysql_install_db — Initialize MySQL Data Directory

Note

mysql_install_db is deprecated as of MySQL 5.7.6 because its functionality has been integrated into mysqld, the MySQL server. To initialize a MySQL installation, invoke mysqld with the --initialize or --initialize-insecure option. For more information, see Section 2.10.1.1, “Initializing the Data Directory Manually Using mysqld”. mysql_install_db will be removed in a future MySQL release.

mysql_install_db handles initialization tasks that must be performed before the MySQL server, mysqld, is ready to use:

  • It initializes the MySQL data directory and creates the system tables that it contains.

  • It initializes the system tablespace and related data structures needed to manage InnoDB tables.

  • It loads the server-side help tables.

  • It installs the sys schema.

  • It creates an administrative account. Older versions of mysql_install_db may create anonymous-user accounts.

Before MySQL 5.7.5, mysql_install_db is a Perl script and requires that Perl be installed. As of 5.7.5, mysql_install_db is written in C++ and supplied in binary distributions as an executable binary. In addition, a number of new options were added and old options removed. If you find that an option does not work as you expect, be sure to check which options apply in your version of mysql_install_db (invoke it with the --help option).

Secure-by-Default Deployment

Current versions of mysql_install_db produce a MySQL deployment that is secure by default. It is recommended that you use mysql_install_db from MySQL 5.7.5 or up for best security, but version-dependent information about security characteristics is included here for completeness (secure-by-default deployment was introduced in stages in MySQL 5.7).

MySQL 5.7.5 and up is secure by default, with these characteristics:

  • A single administrative account named 'root'@'localhost' is created with a randomly generated password, which is marked expired.

  • No anonymous-user accounts are created.

  • No test database accessible by all users is created.

  • --admin-xxx options are available to control characteristics of the administrative account.

  • The --random-password-file option is available to control where the random password is written.

  • The --insecure option is available to suppress random password generation.

MySQL 5.7.4 is secure by default, with these characteristics:

  • A single administrative account named 'root'@'localhost' is created with a randomly generated password, which is marked expired.

  • No anonymous-user accounts are created.

  • No test database accessible by all users is created.

  • The --skip-random-passwords option is available to suppress random password generation, and to create a test database.

MySQL 5.7.3 and earlier are not secure by default, with these characteristics:

  • Multiple administrative root accounts are created with no password.

  • Anonymous-user accounts are created.

  • A test database accessible by all users is created.

  • The --random-passwords option is available to generate random passwords for administrative accounts and mark them expired, and to not create anonymous-user accounts.

If mysql_install_db generates a random administative password, it writes the password to a file and displays the file name. The password entry includes a timestamp to indicate when it was written. By default, the file is .mysql_secret in the home directory of the effective user running the script. .mysql_secret is created with mode 600 to be accessible only to the system user for whom it is created.

Important

When mysql_install_db generates a random password for the administrative account, it is necessary after mysql_install_db has been run to start the server, connect using the administrative account with the password written to the .mysql_secret file, and specify a new administrative password. Until this is done, the administrative account cannot be used for anything else. To change the password, you can use the SET PASSWORD statement (for example, with the mysql or mysqladmin client). After resetting the password, remove the .mysql_secret file; otherwise, if you run mysql_secure_installation, that command may see the file and expire the root password again as part of ensuring secure deployment.

Invocation Syntax

Several changes to mysql_install_db were made in MySQL 5.7.5 that affect the invocation syntax. Change location to the MySQL installation directory and use the command appropriate to your version of MySQL:

Because the MySQL server, mysqld, must access the data directory when it runs later, you should either run mysql_install_db from the same system account that will be used for running mysqld, or run it as root and specify the --user option to indicate the user name that mysqld will run as. It might be necessary to specify other options such as --basedir if mysql_install_db does not use the correct location for the installation directory. For example:

shell> bin/mysql_install_db --user=mysql \
         --basedir=/opt/mysql/mysql \
         --datadir=/opt/mysql/mysql/data
Note

After mysql_install_db sets up the InnoDB system tablespace, changes to some tablespace characteristics require setting up a whole new instance. This includes the file name of the first file in the system tablespace and the number of undo logs. If you do not want to use the default values, make sure that the settings for the innodb_data_file_path and innodb_log_file_size configuration parameters are in place in the MySQL configuration file before running mysql_install_db. Also make sure to specify as necessary other parameters that affect the creation and location of InnoDB files, such as innodb_data_home_dir and innodb_log_group_home_dir.

If those options are in your configuration file but that file is not in a location that MySQL reads by default, specify the file location using the --defaults-extra-file option when you run mysql_install_db.

Note

If you have set a custom TMPDIR environment variable when performing the installation, and the specified directory is not accessible, mysql_install_db may fail. If so, unset TMPDIR or set TMPDIR to point to the system temporary directory (usually /tmp).

Administrative Account Creation

mysql_install_db creates an administrative account named 'root'@'localhost' by default. (Before MySQL 5.7.4, mysql_install_db creates additional root accounts, such as 'root'@'127.0.0.1'. This is no longer done.)

As of MySQL 5.7.5, mysql_install_db provides options that enable you to control several aspects of the administrative account:

For more information, see the descriptions of those options.

mysql_install_db assigns user table rows a nonempty plugin column value to set the authentication plugin. The default value is mysql_native_password. The value can be changed using the --admin-auth-plugin option in MySQL 5.7.5 and up (as noted previously), or by setting the default_authentication_plugin system variable in MySQL 5.7.2 to 5.7.4.

Default my.cnf File

As of MySQL 5.7.5, mysql_install_db creates no default my.cnf file.

Before MySQL 5.7.5, mysql_install_db creates a default option file named my.cnf in the base installation directory. This file is created from a template included in the distribution package named my-default.cnf. You can find the template in or under the base installation directory. When started using mysqld_safe, the server uses my.cnf file by default. If my.cnf already exists, mysql_install_db assumes it to be in use and writes a new file named my-new.cnf instead.

With one exception, the settings in the default option file are commented and have no effect. The exception is that the file sets the sql_mode system variable to NO_ENGINE_SUBSTITUTION,STRICT_TRANS_TABLES. This setting produces a server configuration that results in errors rather than warnings for bad data in operations that modify transactional tables. See Section 6.1.8, “Server SQL Modes”.

Command Options

mysql_install_db supports the following options, which can be specified on the command line or in the [mysql_install_db] group of an option file. For information about option files used by MySQL programs, see Section 5.2.6, “Using Option Files”.

Before MySQL 5.7.5, mysql_install_db passes unrecognized options to mysqld.

Table 5.5 mysql_install_db Options

FormatDescriptionIntroducedRemoved
--admin-auth-pluginAdministrative account authentication plugin5.7.5 
--admin-hostAdministrative account name host part5.7.5 
--admin-require-sslRequire SSL for administrative account5.7.5 
--admin-userAdministrative account name user part5.7.5 
--basedirPath to base directory  
--builddirPath to build directory (for out-of-source builds)  
--cross-bootstrapFor internal use 5.7.5
--datadirPath to data directory  
--defaultsRead default option files5.7.5 
--defaults-extra-fileRead named option file in addition to usual option files  
--defaults-fileRead only named option file  
--extra-sql-fileOptional SQL file to execute during bootstrap5.7.5 
--forceRun even if DNS does not work 5.7.5
--helpDisplay help message and exit  
--insecureDo not generate administrative account random password5.7.5 
--keep-my-cnfKeep existing my.cnf file, do not create new one5.7.45.7.5
--lc-messagesLocale for error messages5.7.5 
--lc-messages-dirDirectory where error messages are installed5.7.5 
--ldataSynonym for --datadir 5.7.5
--login-fileFile to read for login path information5.7.5 
--login-pathRead login path options from .mylogin.cnf5.7.5 
--mysqld-filePath to mysqld binary5.7.5 
--no-defaultsRead no option files  
--random-password-fileFile in which to write administrative account random password5.7.5 
--random-passwordsGenerate administrative account random password 5.7.4
--rpmFor internal use 5.7.5
--skip-name-resolveUse IP addresses rather than host names in grant tables 5.7.5
--skip-random-passwordsDo not generate administrative account random password5.7.45.7.5
--skip-sys-schemaDo not install or upgrade the sys schema5.7.7 
--srcdirFor internal use  
--userSystem login user under which to execute mysqld  
--verboseVerbose mode  
--versionDisplay version information and exit5.7.5 
--windowsFor internal use 5.7.5

  • --help, -?

    Display a help message and exit.

    The -? form of this option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --admin-auth-plugin=plugin_name

    The authentication plugin to use for the administrative account. The default is mysql_native_password.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --admin-host=host_name

    The host part to use for the adminstrative account name. The default is localhost. This option is ignored if --login-path is also specified.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --admin-require-ssl

    Whether to require SSL for the administrative account. The default is not to require it. With this option enabled, the statement that mysql_install_db uses to create the account includes a REQUIRE SSL clause. As a result, the administrative account must use secure connections when connecting to the server.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --admin-user=user_name

    The user part to use for the adminstrative account name. The default is root. This option is ignored if --login-path is also specified.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --basedir=dir_name

    The path to the MySQL installation directory.

  • --builddir=dir_name

    For use with --srcdir and out-of-source builds. Set this to the location of the directory where the built files reside.

  • --cross-bootstrap

    For internal use. This option is used for building system tables on one host intended for another.

    This option was removed in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --datadir=dir_name

    The path to the MySQL data directory. Only the last component of the path name is created if it does not exist; the parent directory must already exist or an error occurs.

    Note

    As of MySQL 5.7.5, the --datadir option is mandatory and the data directory must not already exist. (It remains true that the parent directory must exist.)

  • --defaults

    This option causes mysql_install_db to invoke mysqld in such a way that it reads option files from the default locations. If given as --no-defaults, and --defaults-file or --defaults-extra-file is not also specified, mysql_install_db passes --no-defaults to mysqld, to prevent option files from being read. This may help if program startup fails due to reading unknown options from an option file.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5. (Before 5.7.5, only the --no-defaults variant was supported.)

  • --defaults-extra-file=file_name

    Read this option file after the global option file but (on Unix) before the user option file. If the file does not exist or is otherwise inaccessible, an error occurs. file_name is interpreted relative to the current directory if given as a relative path name rather than a full path name.

    This option is passed by mysql_install_db to mysqld.

  • --defaults-file=file_name

    Use only the given option file. If the file does not exist or is otherwise inaccessible, an error occurs. file_name is interpreted relative to the current directory if given as a relative path name rather than a full path name.

    This option is passed by mysql_install_db to mysqld.

  • --extra-sql-file=file_name, -f file_name

    This option names a file containing additional SQL statements to be executed after the standard bootstrapping statements. Accepted statement syntax in the file is like that of the mysql command-line client, including support for multiple-line C-style comments and delimiter handling to enable definition of stored programs.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --force

    Cause mysql_install_db to run even if DNS does not work. Grant table entries normally created using host names will use IP addresses instead.

    This option was removed in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --insecure

    Do not generate a random password for the adminstrative account.

    Note

    The --insecure option was added in MySQL 5.7.5, replacing the --skip-random-passwords option.

    If --insecure is not given, it is necessary after mysql_install_db has been run to start the server, connect using the administrative account with the password written to the .mysql_secret file, and specify a new administrative password. Until this is done, the administrative account cannot be used for anything else. To change the password, you can use the SET PASSWORD statement (for example, with the mysql or mysqladmin client). After resetting the password, remove the .mysql_secret file; otherwise, if you run mysql_secure_installation, that command may see the file and expire the root password again as part of ensuring secure deployment.

  • --keep-my-cnf

    Tell mysql_install_db to preserve any existing my.cnf file and not create a new default my.cnf file.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.4 and removed in 5.7.5. As of 5.7.5, mysql_install_db does not create a default my.cnf file.

  • --lc-messages=name

    The locale to use for error messages. The default is en_US. The argument is converted to a language name and combined with the value of --lc-messages-dir to produce the location for the error message file. See Section 11.2, “Setting the Error Message Language”.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --lc-messages-dir=dir_name

    The directory where error messages are located. The value is used together with the value of --lc-messages to produce the location for the error message file. See Section 11.2, “Setting the Error Message Language”.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --ldata=dir_name

    A synonym for --datadir.

    This option was removed in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --login-file=file_name

    The file from which to read the login path if the --login-path=file_name option is specified. The default file is .mylogin.cnf.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --login-path=name

    Read options from the named login path in the .mylogin.cnf login path file. The default login path is client. (To read a different file, use the --login-file=name option.) A login path is an option group containing options that specify which MySQL server to connect to and which account to authenticate as. To create or modify a login path file, use the mysql_config_editor utility. See Section 5.6.6, “mysql_config_editor — MySQL Configuration Utility”.

    If the --login-path option is specified, the user, host, and password values are taken from the login path and used to create the administrative account. The password must be defined in the login path or an error occurs, unless the --insecure option is also specified. In addition, with --login-path, any --admin-host and --admin-user options are ignored.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --mysqld-file=file_name

    The path name of the mysqld binary to execute. The option value must be an absolute path name or an error occurs.

    If this option is not given, mysql_install_db searches for mysqld in these locations:

    • In the bin directory under the --basedir option value, if that option was given.

    • In the bin directory under the --srcdir option value, if that option was given.

    • In the bin directory under the --builddir option value, if that option was given.

    • In the local directory and in the bin and sbin directories under the local directory.

    • In /usr/bin, /usr/sbin, /usr/local/bin, /usr/local/sbin, /opt/local/bin, /opt/local/sbin.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --no-defaults

    Before MySQL 5.7.5, do not read any option files. If program startup fails due to reading unknown options from an option file, --no-defaults can be used to prevent them from being read. For behavior of this option as of MySQL 5.7.5, see the description of --defaults.

  • --random-password-file=file_name

    The path name of the file in which to write the randomly generated password for the administrative account. The option value must be an absolute path name or an error occurs. The default is $HOME/.mysql_secret.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --random-passwords

    Note

    This option was removed in MySQL 5.7.4 and replaced with --skip-random-passwords, which was in turn removed in MySQL 5.7.5 and replaced with --insecure.

    On Unix platforms, this option provides for more secure MySQL installation. Invoking mysql_install_db with --random-passwords causes it to perform the following actions in addition to its normal operation:

    • The installation process creates a random password, assigns it to the initial MySQL root accounts, and marks the password expired for those accounts.

    • The initial random root password is written to the .mysql_secret file in the directory named by the HOME environment variable. Depending on operating system, using a command such as sudo may cause the value of HOME to refer to the home directory of the root system user. .mysql_secret is created with mode 600 to be accessible only to the system user for whom it is created.

      If .mysql_secret already exists, the new password information is appended to it. Each password entry includes a timestamp to indicate when it was written.

    • No anonymous-user MySQL accounts are created.

    As a result of these actions, it is necessary after installation to start the server, connect as root using the password written to the .mysql_secret file, and specify a new root password. Until this is done, root cannot do anything else. This must be done for each root account you intend to use. To change the password, you can use the SET PASSWORD statement (for example, with the mysql client). You can also use mysqladmin or mysql_secure_installation.

    New install operations (not upgrades) using RPM packages and Solaris PKG packages invoke mysql_install_db with the --random-passwords option. (Install operations using RPMs for Unbreakable Linux Network are unaffected because they do not use mysql_install_db.)

    For install operations using a binary .tar.gz distribution or a source distribution, you can invoke mysql_install_db with the --random-passwords option manually to make your MySQL installation more secure. This is recommended, particularly for sites with sensitive data.

  • --rpm

    For internal use. This option is used during the MySQL installation process for install operations performed using RPM packages.

    This option was removed in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --skip-name-resolve

    Use IP addresses rather than host names when creating grant table entries. This option can be useful if your DNS does not work.

    This option was removed in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --skip-random-passwords

    Note

    The --skip-random-passwords option was added in MySQL 5.7.4, replacing the --random-passwords option. --skip-random-passwords was in turn removed in MySQL 5.7.5 and replaced with --insecure.

    As of MySQL 5.7.4, MySQL deployments produced using mysql_install_db are secure by default. When invoked without the --skip-random-passwords option, mysql_install_db uses these default deployment characteristics:

    • The installation process creates a single root account, 'root'@'localhost', automatically generates a random password for this account, and marks the password expired.

    • The initial random root password is written to the .mysql_secret file in the home directory of the effective user running the script. .mysql_secret is created with mode 600 to be accessible only to the system user for whom it is created.

      If .mysql_secret already exists, the new password information is appended to it. Each password entry includes a timestamp to indicate when it was written.

    • No anonymous-user MySQL accounts are created.

    • No test database is created.

    As a result of these actions, it is necessary after installation to start the server, connect as root using the password written to the .mysql_secret file, and specify a new root password. Until this is done, the administrative account cannot be used for anything else. To change the password, you can use the SET PASSWORD statement (for example, with the mysql client). You can also use mysqladmin or mysql_secure_installation.

    To produce a MySQL deployment that is not secure by default, you must explicitly specify the --skip-random-passwords option when you invoke mysql_install_db. With this option, mysql_install_db performs the following actions:

    • No random password is generated for the 'root'@'localhost' account.

    • A test database is created that is accessible by any user.

  • --skip-sys-schema

    As of MySQL 5.7.7, mysql_install_db installs the sys schema. The --skip-sys-schema option suppresses this behavior. This option was added in MySQL 5.7.7.

  • --srcdir=dir_name

    For internal use. This option specifies the directory under which mysql_install_db looks for support files such as the error message file and the file for populating the help tables.

  • --user=user_name, -u user_name

    The system (login) user name to use for running mysqld. Files and directories created by mysqld will be owned by this user. You must be the system root user to use this option. By default, mysqld runs using your current login name and files and directories that it creates will be owned by you.

    The -u form of this option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --verbose, -v

    Verbose mode. Print more information about what the program does. You can use this option to see the mysqld command that mysql_install_db invokes to start the server in bootstrap mode.

    The -v form of this option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --version, -V

    Display version information and exit.

    This option was added in MySQL 5.7.5.

  • --windows

    For internal use. This option is used for creating Windows distributions. It is a deprecated alias for --cross-bootstrap

    This option was removed in MySQL 5.7.5.


User Comments
  Posted by Jack Daniels on July 28, 2006
If you suspect permission problems and but find all file and
directory permissions in place and ok then selinux must be
giving the problem. I know because I ran into it.

Try disabling selinux (by running system-config-securitylevel
on fedora core 3 which i have) and retry. It things work out
then fine tune selinux for your system

  Posted by Ed Lazor on December 2, 2009
Ubuntu 9.10
Moving the database from /var/lib/mysql to /data/databases/mysql

You'll get errors when running mysql_install_db until you go into /etc/apparmor.d, update the usr.sbin.mysql file, and run /etc/init.d/apparmor restart

You may also get an error when running /etc/init.d/mysql start:

Access denied for user debian-sys-maint at localhost

Check /etc/mysql/debian.cnf for the account information.

You'll need to run mysql, add the grant tables, and then restart mysql.
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